Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Fish Two Fish

In less than twelve hours my baby will be three. I can't express how wonderful the last three years have been, and I can't even begin to imagine where they've gone. I guess it's true, time flies when you're having fun. Before I had Mary I was unsure whether I even wanted children. Babies are frightening, and kids are cute enough in small doses....but to have one of my own, a little person that I am completely and utterly responsible for every minute of every day, well, it's a daunting sort of idea for someone who can't keep plants alive. I think that I've learned a lot about myself the past three years, and I think that I have grown into a better person. I never thought I would be patient enough to read One Fish Two Fish over and over again, or to sing Baby Beluga every single night. I really didn't think that I would be a good mother, and I've learned that I am and that I love doing it. Being a Mum is the best job I've ever had in my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So happy birthday Mary Bea, I love you more than words can say!





Mary on her very first birthday.





Six months old - the same age as Frances is now.




One year old and still bald.




Two years old and hamming it up for the camera.





Just a few days ago, almost three.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Joy

Our Christmas this year was really, really good. One of the best Christmases that I can remember having in a long time.

Christmas Eve we all headed into the city to go to the early church service and blessing of the Creche. It was nice to go to the church that I grew up at, everyone remembers me (though I manage to remember alarmingly few names) and everyone ooh'd and aah'd over the girls. The service went well and it was kind of awesome to see Mary doing the things I remember doing as a child at the same service. She was quite proud of the donkey she was given charge of (not a real one, of course) and happily paraded it up the isle. When the time came to set up the creche she put a lot of thought into where the donkey ought to go. She didn't make it through the whole service, but it was pretty special to see her there.

After church we ate supper at my dads place and then hit the highway home. The girls went straight to bed and we got to work cleaning up the house and helping Santa. We got to bed around 11, and everyone slept through the night. Frances woke us up at about 8 in the morning, we got up, changed and fed her and helped her open her stocking. Shortly after 9 I couldn't take it any more and woke Mary up so we could get our day started. She was thrilled to open her stocking and thought the sled was pretty great. After stockings and breakfast cooked by Ian, we went for a nice walk. It was a beautiful day, only about 5 below zero and snowing lightly. We bundled the girls up and plunked them in the new sled. Mary occasionally shouted "Faster, Daddy, Faster!" and we all really enjoyed ourselves. After the walk Mary and I played out in the snow for a while longer, we visited our elderly neighbour, Teeny, and finally took ourselves inside. I had to bribe Mary to come in with a second Kindersurprise Egg.

After a cup of tea and a nap for Frances we settled down to open the mound of gifts under the tree. It was great fun, and every time Ian handed Mary a gift to open she said "Oh! Thank you Daddy!" About halfway through the gifts Mary was pretty much done and told me "No more presents Mummy." After a short break where Ian and I opened our gifts (a squishy bathrobe, a bird book, a gardening in Saskatchewan book, The Princess Bride on DVD!) she was ready to finish off. We were finally done opening the gifts around 1:30 and Frances went down for another much needed nap. We hung out, phoned our mothers, and got ready to head back to the city.

At about 4 that afternoon we piled back in the van and drove to my Dads place. We got to open more presents (another bird book! A STAND MIXER!!!) and we had a lot of fun with my fathers wifes parents and sisters family. It really turned out to be a wonderful evening, lots of fun was had by all, supper was fantastic and the girls were incredibly well behaved. We finally left at 10 in the evening with two exhausted girls and made our way home. Mary fell asleep on the trip home and we couldn't wake her up, but Frances was wide awake when we got home. She hasn't gone to sleep before 9 since that night, which is really the only bad thing about Christmas that I can think of.

I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did. Wish me luck as I prepare for my house to be taken over by a pack of 3 year olds and their parents on Monday!




Twas the night before Christmas....




Festive Baby. She grinned all day long.



Lightening McQueen slipper, toque, mittens, pj's, signed photograph and giant plush doll. She made out like a bandit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan

It could be hormones that made me cry this morning when I turned on the CBC and heard that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated this morning, but I don't think it was. For as long as I can remember being somewhat aware of world politics I have admired Benazir Bhutto, a woman, in that part of the world who has the deep respect of her people. A woman elected into office in a Muslim country. She gave me hope for that part of the world. Maybe, maybe things could be better there. She had so much influence, even in her self-imposed exile...I don't know, I suppose it doesn't matter now.

This morning (evening in Pakistan) Benazir Bhutto was shot twice. Once in the neck, once in the chest. Her shooter then blew himself up, killing at least 13 others. She was taken to the hospital and rushed into emergency surgery, but an hour later she died. Violent riots have sprung up throughout Pakistan at the news of her death, and President Musharraf is expected to declare martial law before the night is through. So much for hope.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Night in the Life

This is how my night went last night. Why does no one sleep anymore?

6:00 - Frances gets a bath and bottle, Mary gets in the bath
6:30 - Frances in bed
6:35 - Mary picks out her pj's and gets changed
6:45 - Read "One Fish Two Fish" for the 500th and final time that day
6:55 - Brush Mary's teeth
7:00 - Mary in bed after much cuddling, arranging of stuffed animals, ensuring that there is indeed water in her cup beside the bed.
(This is how every night goes, pretty much without fail)

7:30 ish - Ian gets home
8:15ish - Ian finishes his supper
8:16 - 10:00 - Hanging around the house. Ian changed the litterboxes and had a shower. I watched the Stuart McLean Christmas special on CBC
10:00 - Bedtime for us! Yay! Sweet sleep. We hang out, chat in bed, get comfy.
10:45 - Start to doze
11:00 - Frances wakes, starts screaming.
11:05 - Change Frances, feed Frances, joke with Ian when Mary will wake us up. He says 3 hours, I say 2.
11:20 - Frances back in bed. She engages in a fierce battle with one of her toys that dangle from the crib rail (It's a peach). Loud battle cries and rattling echo through the house.
12:00 - Doze
1:00 - Mary climbs into bed and kicks me several times. (Two hours! I win!)
1:15 - Ian puts Mary back in her own bed.
1:30 - Doze.
2:00 - Mary comes into our room and stands at the foot of the bed sobbing softly. (3 hours. Ian wins too. We are all winners. yippee.)
2:05 - I take Mary back to her bed, she whimpers and asks for more water.
2:06 - I trip over the semi-trailer parked in the middle of the hallway. Curse softly. Remember why I like to clean up before going to bed and wonder why I didn't last night.
2:08 - Bring water to Mary. She is fast asleep and doesn't notice it.
2:10 - Lay in bed wide awake.
2:30 - still awake. hyper aware. Every sound could be one of those horrible children. Why fall asleep if they are just going to wake me up?
3:30 - finally doze.
4:00 - Frances starts screaming. Put pillow over head.
4:10 - Still screaming. Ian goes to get her. Reports that she was laying in her crib like she had been in a car accident. Apparently the peach won the battle earlier on.
4:15 - Feed and change Frances
4:25 - Frances back to bed.
5:00 - doze
6:30 - Ian's alarm goes off.

Poor Ian had to get up and head off to a very long day of work. I managed to doze back off and finally got out of bed at around 8:30 when I couldn't ignore Frances anymore. I had to wake Mary up at 9. I'm thinking that I may have to start locking Mary's bedroom door again, but I'm not sure that it's worth the horrible screaming when she realizes she can't get out and cuddle with me at 3 AM.

In other news....Mary actually skated the other day! It was amazing, she just decide that she could do it, and she did. She spent most of the class crawling around and rolling around on the ice, which she thinks is very very fun. Near the end of the class they lined up the kids so they could get a picture and Mary kept skating away. They couldn't really tell her not too as this is what we have been trying to convince her do for two months....so, everyone just laughed and applauded, and they finally got a decent picture of the four kids, even if Mary wasn't quite with the group. It was a fun evening, we stayed late for a pot luck, and I got to know a few more people. It's really quite a cool thing to live in a small town. At one point I had to chase Mary down to prevent her from stealing yet another sippy cup. When I was away Frances started fussing, so someone just picked her up and started to cuddle her...and it didn't bother me at all. It's quite the community.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On Being a Poor Tool

What? Two posts in one day? Huh.

I jinxed myself earlier by commenting on a certain temperamental member of my family and how she has been slightly less temperamental lately. After dealing with an afternoon of shrieking for various reasons (the main one being my unwillingness to happily "GO AWAY!" when told to do so and shoved towards the door) I will not make that mistake again. Rest assured, I have not dipped her in the snow yet, though at times it's awfully tempting.

I also want to apologize for being a poor tool. I got right into Christmas cards this year, I even made my own. I had things ready to go at the beginning of the month, and most people have been sent their cards and should have received them already. Some people, however, won't be getting cards at all. I ran out of cards. Then I made more and completely forgot about them. Now, I can't find the bloody things. So, if you live in Edmonton (or Nebraska, damn it all) and didn't get a card, I apologize, I really did mean to send a card and I love you very much. Next year I'll do better....maybe I'll even write one of those cheesy update form letters to make up for it!

Oh, and Goody, go hard with your mincemeat! I just made my first batch of tarts this past week and they are fantastic! I didn't make hard sauce to go with them though, I hate the stuff and just couldn't be bothered.

One Week Left!

You know, Mary must have known I was blogging unfavourably about her....we haven't had a major tantrum since then (knock on wood). Yes, there have been minor meltdowns, especially when she feels that she NEEDS a cookie and I disagree with her, but other than that she's been good.

Saturday the Elks lodge put on a show for the kids in town. They played a Pooh Bear Christmas movie, and then Santa came to visit. I was a little concerned that Mary would flip out. She's always interested in Santa when we go to the mall, but won't really get too close. Well, I needn't have worried. Santa walked in the door and she was the first one shrieking his name and dancing at his feet while he made his way to his throne. When her turn came to sit on his knee, well, she did so quite happily. She sat silently for a moment or two just enjoying the experience, accepted her goodie bag and came back to my side bubbling with happiness. I was right annoyed as I had decided not to bring the camera, damn it. Anyways, it was a fun afternoon, even if we missed out on the hay rides afterwards. Frances was about done and while Mary and I were thrilled to see the horses, Fran was not impressed in the least. Oh, and the funny thing about the whole experience? Mary's goody bag was just like the bags we used to get when I was a kid - full of peanuts. You don't get things like that in the city anymore, eh? I guess there aren't any peanut allergies in either the preschool or the regular schools, so they just don't worry about it. Mary reached in and popped a peanut in her mouth, shell and all...

Not much else going on here. I did a tonne of baking the other day, including the first batch of mincemeat tarts...heavenly. Yesterday Ian was off work and we had some errands to run, so we popped into the city to go to Walmart. A word to the wise...don't go to Walmart a week before Christmas. Just don't. We went first thing in the morning, on a monday morning, thinking that it would be okay. It wasn't. It was a zoo. Why were none of those people at work? I don't know. I did take great pleasure in blocking an isle while chatting with a lady who had a baby the same age as Frances. I could hear the irritated groans around us, but after spending an hour trying to get around slow moving geriatrics (not that I have a problem with old people, but for crying out loud...) I felt that I had a right to block traffic for just a minute.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is this three?

Cause if it is, well, I'd really like two back, please.

Over the last few weeks Mary has undergone some subtle (and not so subtle) changes in her personality and attitudes towards life. I just recently connected these changes to the fact that she'll be three years old in a couple of weeks. She's still sweet and loving, cuddly and gentle most of the time. She adores her baby sister, she loves to play with the cats, she loves cars and trucks and books. Lately though, she has been incredibly contrary, temperamental, irrational and independent in bizarre ways. The temper tantrums have stepped up a notch and are far more frequent than ever before.

Last night she wasn't eating her supper. I was okay with this because she had eaten one or two mouthfulls of her chili and a whole slice of bread. I am used to her not eating, and I try very hard not to make a big deal about it. So anyways, I asked her if she was done. She said "NO!" and grabbed the bowl of chili, moving it away from me. She did not eat it. Five minutes later I asked again, and again she reacted the same way. So I scooped up some food onto her spoon and handed it too her. She shrieked in rage, dumped out the spoon, and hugged the bowl. After about 30 minutes of this I was done, so I took the bowl away to clean up. She. Flipped. Out. Screaming, yelling, howling, sobbing, flinging herself to the floor, hitting me, throwing things. It was truly spectacular but nothing compared to the tantrum she had the day before yesterday where she trashed her bedroom (books thrown all over, stuffed animals tossed willy-nilly and the bed ripped apart) and then refused everything I offered her until I wasn't offering it anymore and then she screamed that she needed it. Then I would try to give it too her and because I was offering it, she refused it again.

Sigh.

She does make up for it when she comes into my bed after Ian's gotten up for work and snuggles up with me, patting my back and whispering sweet nothings before falling asleep.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time Flies

Things are going as usual these days. I can't remember the last time I actually did an update here, really, my life is awfully boring.

Let's see. Ian worked all weekend, and I did....stuff, important stuff, I'm sure. He had Monday and Tuesday off. Monday Mary and I went into the city to do a big grocery shop and stare at the frightening man in the red suit. Mary really loves Santa's "Castle" in the mall, but she's not too keen on the big man himself. Tuesday was Ian's turn to take Mary into the city to run errands.

Mary's skating lessons have taken an interesting turn. She discovered yesterday that to move around on the ice one need not move their feet...just drop to your hands and knees and crawl, or better yet lay right down and roll. It was the first time I've seen her laugh and engage with the coaches at her lessons, so while she did not actually skate, she did have fun and I call that a success.

Last night Ian called me when he was heading home from the city, just to let me know he was on his way. The weather had turned from quite nice in the morning to very windy and snowy. About 30 minutes after he called, about the time I would be expecting him home, he called again. It turns out that the blowing snow on the road tricked him, and instead of turning with the highway he drove straight into the ditch and almost into a farmers field. Even better, a woman on her way to Weyburn saw his tail lights through the blowing snow and figured that must be where she ought to drive....and she ended up in the ditch too. Misery loves company, eh? Anyways, after trying for an hour to contact CAA, an ambulance pulled up to check on them. The paramedic chatted for a few minutes, and called them a tow truck. About 5 minutes after the ambulance left, an RCMP truck showed up and sat on the corner with his lights on, calling attention to the fact that there was in fact a corner there and people should turn to avoid the ditch. Anyways, the long and short of it is that Ian got off work at 5:30 last night, and didn't get home till 10. It was funny, right before Ian called to tell me that he was in the ditch my father had called just to let me know that if the weather was crummy Ian was always welcome to stay at his place. Is that what they call irony?

Hmm. Not much else going on. Still baking like a fiend. I made some fantastic, melt in your mouth, shortbread, some mediocre gingerbread teddy bears (that Mary loves, so she gets to eat them all), and the best bread I've made so far. I couldn't believe how well it turned out, light and airy, very tasty and perfect for toast or sandwiches.

Monday evening the cast for the dinner theatre met and we taped the play. It was lots of fun to be around other people, and the more I read it, the more I like the play that we are doing. I've also really come to like my character and I'm quite excited about starting regular practice in the new year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Please

Please, just go here, okay? You won't regret it....well, you might, but it's cute!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Nice Socks

Not much to report around here. Yesterday was a PJ day for me, I stayed in my jammies all day long and boy did it feel good! Today the only reason I got dressed was because Ian forgot to bring in the cat food from the van, and the boys were driving me bonkers.

I've been busy working on stockings for our family, and I've finally finished the girl's stockings! The sewing is pretty crappy, I'm not really sure how to use my machine, so I just wing it and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if I will finish Ian's and mine before Christmas, but it was the girls that were important to me anyways.




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Seasonal

We had a relatively busy weekend. Friday we went into the city and spent all our money (quite literally) on this and that. That night we went to a Christmas party put on by Ian's work. We stayed at my dads place as he is in Hawaii, and got a sitter in. It was awfully nice to get out without the girls. The party was quite fancy. When we arrived there was a table full of corsages for the ladies. There was an open bar which Ian and I didn't really take advantage of, being old and boring as we are. There was a silent auction with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer society and a couple of raffles. The food was fantastic, and they had brought in a guy from Austin Texas who is billed as "The Worlds Worst Waiter," he was fabulous. They had a hypnotist who was good, but went on far too long. There was dancing after the hypnotist, but we left when he was done his thing, I was tired, and we knew the girls wouldn't let us sleep in.

Saturday we spent what little money we had left, and came home. Saturday afternoon we put up the Christmas tree, and Sunday we decorated it. Mary had a blast putting the ornaments on the tree, and she loves to cuddle with me on the couch and just look at the tree.

Monday was skating again, and Mary continued to be happy just standing on the ice, thank you very much.

Today we got the pictures that were taken by the photographer. They're stunning - take a look!







Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brrr x 2

Day too of the cold snap. Yes, I definitely remember why I left this province, and living on the edge of a small town with nothing but bald prairie to stop (hah!) the wind....well....ick. Why on earth does anyone live here? I watch my poor birds and I can't believe they don't just turn into little feathered blocks of ice. It boggles my mind that the little bastards can survive at minus 30 now and thirty above in the summer.

Today was a relatively lazy day. I didn't bake anything as I still have lots of brioche and corn bread that I need to get through. Mary is helping, she loves my baking. I did go through all the baby clothes and put everything under 9 month sizes away, and I pulled all the 12 month stuff out of boxes. Holy crap that baby is huge! I weighed her on the scale today by weighing myself without and then with her. According to my scale she is now 19 lbs. She's still 2 weeks away from 6 months, and she's the same size as Mary was when she was 11 months old...and we thought that Mary was big then too!

Skating went a bit better today. The other mothers joke about her guarding the circle, because she just stands there, on the edge of one of the circles in the ice and refuses to move. Today the teacher (I learned today that her official title is coach, but it seems a little ridiculous for a 3 year old to have a coach, don't you think?) actually convinced her to lift one of her feet off the ice for a second. Only one, mind you, and she wasn't thrilled about it, but she did lift it. It's a start. I felt kind of bad because the teacher (coach) has to spend so much time with Mary, but I spoke to her about it and she doesn't mind. She said that as long as Mary talks about skating and likes coming to keep brining her. So, I will do just that. Next lesson is on Monday, maybe she will lift the other foot!

I'm not going to be in Edmonton for Christmas (damn it), but when I do come visit I'll make sure to bake up something special to share with everyone! Maybe I'll make a brioche loaf, oops, sorry Goody, I didn't mean to offend your American sensibilities...I'll bake up some "Freedom Bread." Hey, how do you tell the difference between French Bread and Brioche? Isn't it all Freedom Bread?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The reason I am so fat

This is what I do with my life:


Brioche. It isn't lovely, kinda looks like malformed breasts, but boy does it taste good! With four eggs, lots of milk and sugar, it's rich and heavenly. I suspect it would have looked better had I not forgotten the egg wash before putting it in the stove.


Six "mini" cornbread loaves. Yeah, they're small, but not what I would call mini by any means. Again, they taste heavenly, especially fresh out of the oven.


Sugar cookies I made in honour of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Oh, they're good, and addictive.


My nicest looking loaf of bread yet. Dijon Honey bread with thyme and oregano. It is fantastic for ham sandwiches I've been told. Ian liked it, but it's not my favourite.


So, there you have it. Today I can't really get out. With the temperature at -20 plus 60 km/hour winds, well, it's damn cold out. Too cold for the girls, and too cold for me. I went out this morning to feed the birds and after 2 minutes my fingers were too frozen to open the door when I wanted to come back in. I remember now why I left Saskatchewan.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter

Yikes. It looks like winter has joined us here in Milestone for real today. Brrrr. It's cold, bloody windy, and snowing today. My poor sparrows and doves look extremely cold out there today.

The weekend went well. The Riders won the Grey Cup (Yay!). I made pizza for us to eat during the game. We had pondered ordering in, but instead I found a recipe for pizza dough. My pizza was superior in every way to restaurant stuff and altogether cost a fraction of what it would have had we ordered in. I'll definitely be doing that again!

Rico drove out to visit us on Friday, and that was fantastic. It was great to see him and to actually have someone other than each other to talk too. I was awfully sad to see him go, but he sure lifted our spirits while he was here!

Other than that there isn't much to report since my last update, so here, look at pictures instead!





I made fresh french bread for Rico's visit on Friday. It turned out really well, although it did split down the side.








Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm a Superstar!

Did I mention that I read for a part in the local theatre company Monday evening? Well, I did, and today I got a call from the director. They offered me the part of Carol, the eldest of four girls, recovering alcoholic, Chartered accountant, bitter spinster. It's funny, of all the characters in the play I liked Carol the least, and I wasn't able to identify with her in the slightest. Ah well, I guess a challenge is a good thing, right? We have another meeting tonight and I'll be getting the full script. The play runs the first two weeks in April, with a competition in North Battleford happening the week after Easter. I'm still a little shocked that I got a part at all, let alone a relatively major parts (not that there are many minor parts in a play with only 8 characters in total).

Okay, Frances is howling, she's probably flipped over onto her belly again. She works so hard to get there, and then is filled with rage when she succeeds. She hates being on her belly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Marshmallow Creme

So, this recipe for one of the many homemade Christmas gifts that I am making called for something called marshmallow creme. I couldn't find it anywhere, and I have no clue what it is, so I looked it up on line and learned that it is something almost exclusively American. So, I did what any determined gift maker would do and I found a recipe on how to make it myself. Do you know what is in marshmallow creme? I do, it's sugar in several forms, a few egg whites and a dash of vanilla. Anyways, the recipe I found made way more of the stuff than I needed. I now have a litre of marshmallow creme languishing in my fridge. Anyone have ideas of what I could do with the stuff?

Valuable Lessons

How do you like the new colours? I decided to switch from pink to green in honour of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. For those of you who care, the Riders are on their way to the Grey Cup, for those of you who don't, well, fine then. Never Mind.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. Ian was strapping Mary into the van so we could head off to the rink for Mary's skating lesson, and he was being pretty feeble and taking a long time. Mary was muttering to herself as she often does, and at one point she sighed, looked at Ian and said "Oh Jesus Daddy." Ian just about choked from fighting his laughter, and I was mortified. You see, I couldn't blame that one on Ian's foul mouth at all, Mary was channeling me in a terrifying way. I don't even realize when I'm saying it sometimes, but "Oh Jesus" Is my curse of choice. When Mary's being bad I often say "Aw, Jesus Mary!" So, It's my fault. I told my Mum, and she mentioned that when I was that age my favourite thing to say was "Goddamn it!" Anyways, the lesson I learned - watch your mouth around 3 year olds.

Skating is still going surprisingly well. Mary talks about it all the time, and we have to drag her off the ice. It's funny though, her instructor told me yesterday that Mary is very quiet and serious. I guess she hasn't said one word to anyone in the course of her lessons so far. It's like the ice sucks the voice out of her, and the minute her skates are off she turns back into a chatterbox. I do know that she likes it because every time we go to leave the rink it's a fight, and all she'll say is "I stay here Mummy!"

Frances is good. She started rolling over the other day, and after a few hours of practicing hard she now has rolling from her back to her belly down pat. Unfortunately she hasn't figured out how to get back to her back, and she gets mighty pissed off about 2 minutes after rolling over. So, we flip her back onto her back, and 5 minutes later she's on her belly again. She's been much nicer to be around for the last week now too. Nowhere near as much screaming, she's laughing at everything, and in one day she cut down the puking by more than half! She still doesn't have much of a personality, but I can certainly see it developing.

Oh, and as a final note, Lady Myke finally had her baby! Yay! It seemed like she had been pregnant forever, and it's finally over.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

She Skates!

Hmm. It would seem that I've been lollyblogging again. It's not a bad thing though, I've just been too busy to come here and moan about how miserable my life is.

Things are going pretty well, I think. This week Mary started her skating lessons, and they are going amazingly well. We had a bit of a hitch at the first one on Monday as the cheap WalMart skates we bought her were, well, cheap. She couldn't stand in them on dry ground, let alone ice, they just didn't give her the support she needed. So yesterday we went to a used skate shop, picked out a pair of incredibly cute little figure skates, and after trying them on and discovering the big difference, we bought them. Unlike Monday when Ian had to drag Mary around on the ice himself, today I just dropped her off in the care of one of the young helpers and headed off to the warmth to watch. Mary did so well, I can't even express how proud I am of her. She stood on the ice instead of laying there bawling (like some of the other students), she listened to the instructor and her assistants, and by the end of the half hour actually managed to move around on the ice a little by herself. Soon she'll be a better skater than I am, although it's not hard to be better than me at that sport (or any sport, really). She had lots of fun, she didn't shed a tear and I had to bribe her off the ice.

Yesterday we went off to the city so I could get my eyes checked. It went well, though it took forever, and nothing was resolved. It turns out the doctor I had is related to my favourite Veterinarian, Dr. Love (not his real name, and you have to say it in a pornographic sort of way to get it right). Anyways, he is sending me off to an Opthamologist because I saw squiggly lines when I should have seen straight. All I know is that he put nasty drops in my eyes that made my pupils swallow the iris, shone incredibly bright lights in my eyes, and I couldn't see my grocery list when we went shopping.

I know I've been busy doing something, but for the life of me I can't remember what else I've done. I have put together some more stuff for Christmas gifts, I've made bread. I learned that I cannot make meringue to save my life, my poor husband loves lemon meringue pies, and he will never get one made by me.

Man I'm exhausted. You'd think that I was the one on the ice today. Well, I'd better go get supper started so it's ready for my loving husband when he gets home! Aren't I a good little housewife? :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields
Written by John McCrae in 1915


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Long Day

Today Ian is working 13 hours. Sigh. I feel kind of bad for him, although it was his choice to work so much, but I feel worse for me. As crazy as he often drives me, he is my only adult contact, I get lonely and depressed if he's gone too long.

Mary is sleeping right now. It's 5:30. She fell asleep at 3, and at 5 I tried to wake her to get her to eat supper, but no dice. Pity for her, supper was really good tonight. I ate it and drank a pint of dry cider all by myself. I don't know when she'll actually wake up, but I suspect I won't get to shower tonight after the girls go to sleep like I planned. I doubt Mary'll sleep before 9.

We bought Mary skates yesterday! She's starting skating lessons at the local rink on Monday, it should be interesting. The woman I spoke too told me that if Mary despises it after 3 classes they will refund our money. We are getting a family membership to the rink, I think I may take up curling, and Ian wants to play hockey. Thankfully my father is pitching in, we'd never be able to afford the rink fee's without him.

Frances is miserable. I'd better go.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Goodnight Sweetheart

I've created a problem. A serious problem. I don't know how to fix it. A while back I started unlocking Mary's bedroom door before going to bed myself (yes, I lock my child in her room at night. I am a bad bad mother). She would wake up every morning between 6 and 7 and wander over to our room, climb into bed and snuggle with me for an hour or so before we got up. It's nice when she does that, I like it. Then last week she woke up in the middle of the night and came sobbing to our room. So, I pulled her into bed to sleep with us. Every night since that night she has come to our bed at some point in the middle of the night. I don't generally mind, but it's getting a little out of control. Last night at about 3 am she came to our bed, but instead of going back to sleep she lay there between Ian and I, kicking and flailing and occasionally exclaiming "Ah! Aaaaahhhhh!" or perhaps "Mummy. Mummy sleeping. Night Mummy! Cookies please?" After about an hour of this behaviour I had enough and brought her back to her bed. She flipped. After about an hour of coaxing and singing her songs at 5 AM she finally went to sleep and stayed in her own bed till we got up for the day. Today she is exhausted and I am exhausted, and I'm dreading having to break the habit that I have inadvertently encouraged.

I called the eye doctors office to make an appointment for Ian and I, and we have to wait over a month! I was some annoyed. I told the girl after the appointments were made that I was having some problems with my eyes, and when she found out that I have a black spot in my vision, she bumped me up to next week. I would say sweet, but by her reaction I think that my eye spots may be more than just a little annoying. Sigh. The last thing I need is to have a serious problem with my eyes. There's enough on my plate to keep me miserable without that.

We voted in the provincial election today. When I went in the woman who took my name was very excited to meet me. She welcomed me to Milestone, told me that she understands how hard it is to move to a small town and actually meet people, and gave me several phone numbers of people to call about the mom and tots group as well as skating classes for Mary. I'm off to call them right away. Wish me luck! I may just make a friend in this stupid province yet!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Need It

So, I'm reading these books, a series by the author Michelle West called the Sun Sword. I've finished the first three of the series and enjoyed them greatly. I went online to see if I could order books 4, 5, and 6. Five and Six are available, but four...ah four...you can't get it. Not for under sixty bucks for a stinking paperback copy. What the hell? So, if anyone out there has the Sun Sword book 4, Sea of Sorrows, by Michelle West, I'd love to borrow it. I promise not to sell it on Ebay.

Sick

Yeah, we're sick again. Got a problem with that? Mary has spent the last 4 nights in our bed. She goes to sleep in her own bed but in the middle of the night she stumbles over to our bedroom and crawls in between Ian and I. Surprisingly, I don't really mind having her there, so I don't make a fuss about it. She's been pretty crabby for the last couple of days, and now she has some bowel issues, the poor wee thing. She's miserable, poopy and feverish.

Other than Mary being crabby the weekend went well. Ian was off all weekend and it was nice to have him around, even if we didn't get much done. He was going to finish cleaning up the leaves in the yard, but it was so incredibly windy (welcome to Saskatchewan!) that he couldn't really do anything. I baked bread, cookies and cinnamon buns. Friday I got out by myself and picked up some groceries and a new car seat for Frances. She's already grown too big for the infant bucket seat that we had, so we had to get a great big convertible one. How I long for the days of my childhood when carseats were just baskets that you plunked the baby into, and you could hold the baby in your lap if you really wanted too. I'll tell you a secret, on our way home from the town Foul Supper, that's exactly what I did. Rather than fight to get Frances into her stupid car seat, I just held her. I'm a bad mother. :)

Nothing much else has happened since my last post. Mary's worn her halloween costume every single day. It's windy and cold. Frances ate an entire jar of baby food, and then downed 8 more ounces of formula. She's going to be eating steak and chips before long. I tried to make friends with the lady across the street by bringing over cinnamon buns, but her little boy wouldn't get her, he wanted to talk to me his self, and when he was done he just shut the door. Sigh. Who needs friends when you have squirrels, right?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Don't Make Me Go....

To the potty. This morning when I woke up I decided that we were going to start potty training in earnest. No more pull-ups, no more messing around. So, I put Mary in Big Girl Panties. They were very nice, and we spent a great deal of time admiring them and discussing what it means to wear Big Girl Panties. Every hour I took Mary to the potty where we sat, sang songs, and discussed the fish on the shower curtain. About 5 minutes after one of our potty breaks I heard Mary start crying in the basement. I knew what had happened, she had "made water" and discovered the down side of Big Girl Panties. I comforted her, cleaned her up and told her that next time she should try to get on the potty. Ten minutes later, more crying. Repeat comforting. Twenty minutes later there was a heartbroken wail from the basement, and Mary started sobbing in earnest and saying "BAD GIRL!" I cleaned her up, cuddled her and put her into pull ups. Obviously she's just not ready, and I guess she was feeling pressured or something. I've never called her bad girl for accidents, but she was clearly upset, and I don't really want to keep up with the potty training if she feels so stressed about it.

Halloween was fun, I guess. Mary wore her Elephant costume and we visited about 6 houses. Every time someone opened the door Mary would barge right in, ignoring the candy. I guess she couldn't figure out why we would knock on all these peoples doors and not go in for a visit. She took far more pleasure greeting the "boys" (everyone is either a Mummy, a Daddy, a Grandma, a grandpa or a boy) that came to our door, I think.



Mary the ambivalent elephant. She cheered up a bit once we got outside.




The shirt says "Your Misery Makes Me So Happy." She's my little life and soul sucking vampire. Luckily she's cute.




And here is why that dress is so very appropriate. Every time I put her down she makes that face...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Give Me The Time of Day

My favourite time of day is at 6:45 AM or so. It's when Frances usually gets up (if we are lucky). I'm not a morning person, I never have been, but having children has forced early mornings on me, and I'm really starting to enjoy them. Anyways, Frances wakes up around the same time as Ian does when he's starting work at 8. He will go bring her to me, and I change her diaper and give her a bottle. She's always incredibly cute and cheerful in the mornings, and it's the best time to cuddle with her. After getting some cuddles in and eating, I put her back in her crib for a while. She's always happy to go back (nothing really makes her unhappy in the mornings) and she looks at her mobile, plays with her toys and chats with herself. I climb back into bed, and if things are timed right, Mary gets up about 5 minutes later. She runs into my room, carrying Lightening McQueen and White Owl, and scrambles into bed with me. After getting everyone organized, the stuffed toys under the blankets, she snuggles beside me while I doze for another 45 minutes. At around 8 she starts saying "G'up, Mummy, g'up!" If I don't get up right away she opens the curtains, pulls the blankets off of me, and heads into the kitchen and starts moving chairs around. I don't know what it is about our morning routine that I love so much, but I really get miserable if it's interrupted.

Last night when we were putting Frances to bed Mary just had to be a part of it. She "helped" me carry the baby to her room, gave her hugs and kisses, and "helped" me put the baby in her crib. As I was leaving the room she lingered there for a moment by the crib watching Frances, and when I told her we had to go, she said "Night night, Frances. Sweet dreams, I love you." My heart melted. It was the very first time that Mary has ever said I love you with any real meaning and without a great deal of prompting. It's a lot easier for me to like Frances when I see how much she and Mary love each other. It's amazing, when Frances is grumpy and crying, all it takes is a smile from Mary to make her happy.

I've decided to try to blog at least once every couple of days. Even if it's just a bit of Mummy blogging (this is a mummy blog, after all), it makes me feel better to organize my thoughts and put them down. Today I am going to call a 1-800 number that came with Ian's work health plan. I had forgotten all about it until I was obsessively rearranging the magnets on the fridge yesterday, and I realized that it is there for exactly the type of problems that I'm having. Wish me luck, hopefully talking to someone who doesn't know me at all will help a bit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sooooooo Cute!

So, on Saturday Mary and I got our hair cut. She went first and it was very traumatic for all involved, especially the poor young thing who was trying to give Mary a fashionable cut. The girl kept trying to cut it "properly" rather than just snipping straight and quick, and Mary kept screaming, bawling and shoving the scissors and comb away. It was eventually accomplished and all the hair that kept falling in Mary's face has been transformed into incredibly cute, thick bangs. When I was getting my hair cut Ian, Frances and Mary wandered around the mall. They came back just as the girl was finishing up and Mary came right up to me, her beautiful blue eyes wide with amazement, and she said "Mummy! Oh, Mummy is SOOOO CUTE!!" It was so adorable I could have puked. Unfortunately the haircut is so bad that it is taking all my willpower not to take Ian's razor and shave all my hair off to start again. Ugh.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday

Is it Monday already? Is it almost the end of October already? You certainly wouldn't know it by the weather, it's another gorgeous day outside. When Frances wakes up from her nap I am determined to take the girls for a long walk...This is Saskatchewan after all, the weather will change in a heartbeat and snow will fly soon I'm sure. The town has a snow fence up at the end of our street (less than a block away) to keep the snow drifting out in the open prairie, rather than in our driveway.

I'm still not feeling quite right in the head. Last week did get a bit better, but I'm still scaring myself. I may go to the doctor about it, I really don't know what else to do. When I'm not weeping or baking like a crazy person, I worry....not just normal worrying, but really bizarre things, overwhelming panicky things that take my breath away and make it so I can't sleep at night. I worry that Ian will be in a terrible accident on the way home from work, I worry that my father will die, I worry that my mother will die, I dwell on the terror of me dying and not getting to see the girls grow up (that one really makes me sick), I worry that Mary will fall down the stairs and break her neck to the point that sometimes I won't let her go down the stairs by herself. I don't worry about Frances, but I do worry about the fact that I don't worry enough about Frances. When we go for walks I'm afraid that Mary will get hit by a car, I don't walk near the tracks anymore (even though Railway Ave is a decent distance from the actual tracks) because I'm terrified that Mary will escape and get smucked by a train. I worry that I have cancer, I worry that there's something wrong with my womanly bits (for good reason that I won't go into here). I worry that I'm going to get pregnant again which, along with my womanly bit issues affects Ian a great deal. I know that I'm not being rational, I know that it doesn't make sense, but once I start I get so wrapped up that I can hardly breathe. I worry that if I go to the doctor he'll put me on anti-somethings, and I had such a terrible experience with Effexor 5 years ago that the thought of going through that terrifies me.

Ahem. Anyways. Here are some pictures.


My closest and only friend in MIlestone, Mr. Squirrel. When I took this picture I got close enough that I reached out and touched his tail.




My girls hanging out on the couch. Frances is really turning into a beautiful looking baby.




My first ever pie. I learned very quickly that I despise making pastry, but boy was it heavenly. The apple and blueberry filling was delicious, and the crust was flaky and melted in your mouth.




Frances in one of our new, incredibly cheap, Walmart rocking chairs in the basement.




Mary and Ian with our Jack'O'Lanterns that we carved last night. Not the most artistically talented family, but we had fun.



Spooky...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blue

Yesterday was a particularly bad day. I won't go into it too much here because I know I'll sound crazy and desperate for attention and pity. I'm feeling a little crazy and out of control in a very bad way to be honest, and I'm not really sure what to do about it. Once I figure it out, maybe I'll let you know, maybe I won't. Needless to say, I'm lonely, unhappy, and bordering on scaring myself (check that, I crossed the scaring myself line yesterday). Certain people in my life aren't helping by dumping their own issues on my door, making me feel like even worse of a mother than I already do (which is pretty awful, given the thoughts I've been having about the newest member of our family), and essentially blaming me and my children for their marital problems.

By the way, I hope no one who does take anti-depressants was offended by my last post (Mary). I know that those drugs do help a lot of people. My problem is when you go to the doctor, say "I'm feeling a little sad" and they immediately put you on powerful, mind altering drugs. I also don't like the trend of medicating pre-schoolers for things like depression, ADHD, and bi-polar disorder. In my opinion, toddlers are by nature bi-polar, hyper, and attention deficient, and they shouldn't be drugged for any of those things.

So, I haven't much else to say. This past week I have baked more cinnamon buns, a beautiful apple blueberry pie (I despise making pastry, but man I'm good at it!), graham crackers for Mary and today I will bake some more bread to go with the beef barley stew I'm making for supper tonight. I think this weekend I will start baking sugar cookies to send to Ian's work, to give to the many families with kids that live on our block, and to stuff my sorrows with. Sugar cookies have to be better than the bottle of coconut rum in the liquor cabinet, right?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Equal (Rant)

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal."

Have you read the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut? If you haven't, you should (you can find it here http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/hb.html). It's scary in its plausibility.

It comes to mind because this morning on CBC radio the Sunday Edition host was interviewing a man named Christopher Lane who has just had a book published. His book is called "Shyness: How Normal Behaviour Became an Illness" and it's all about the mental health industry. Yes, I say industry, because that's what it is, an industry run by the drug companies. Did you know that if you are nervous about talking in front of a group of people, that if you don't like the idea of eating by yourself in a restaurant, if your hands tremble a little when you meet new people, or if you don't like using public washrooms you are sick in the head? You likely have Social Anxiety Disorder, but never fear, all you have to do is take the drug Paxil or one of these powerful anti-psychotics (or possibly a combination) and you'll be all better. Never mind the side effects, just take your drugs and you can be "normal." Oh, and don't forget to drug your child if they show any anti-social behaviour too. There's all sorts of antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs out there that you can use to alter your child's developing personality and central nervous system. Don't worry if you come down with the newest "disorder" in the books, Apathy disorder. It's actually caused by the drugs that you're taking to keep "normal," but they're developing new drugs to take for that one too. Good God, no, don't stop taking those likely unnecessary antidepressants, we'll just add on another drug to combat your drug induced apathetic haze, that way the drug companies will make twice as much off one person! Oh, you're a woman too? Well, if you have a period, you likely have Pre-Menstrual dysphoric disorder. It used to be relatively rare, but the drug companies decided that PMS would be a good thing to make money off of, so they've changed the diagnoses criteria to be identical. We'll just give you yet another antidepressant to deal with those ugly female hormones (and make more money for the drug companies too).

Yes, there are people out there who are mentally ill, people who do need these drugs. Not everyone does though, and the way things are going people who aren't drugged for something are going to be a minority. Why does every personality quirk and emotion have to be a disease, and what exactly is this "normal" that everyone is striving to reach by drugging themselves? You know, sadness is normal, anxiety is normal, a little fear, well that's normal too. We live in a scary world, bad things happen that we should feel sad and fearful about. Anxiety isn't always a bad thing, it's a natural thing and it can keep us safe. Being shy and bookish is not a mental disorder, it's the way I am, and the way millions of people throughout history have been. Yes, being a shy, awkward, bookish teenager was miserable, but I wouldn't take it back in a million years. I wouldn't want to have been drugged to be more "normal," those years helped form me into the person I am today, a person that I actually like and am proud of most of the time.

I'm trying to judge when the best time for me to pack up my family and move to a remote commune will be. We'll be the whacko's in the bush who refuse to drug their children, who refuse to be "normal." Anyone want to come with me? I seem to be able to make a mean loaf of bread...

Huh, who knew I could rant so early in the morning?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Busy

I'm giving up on clever titles. I just can't be bothered.

Mary's toe is doing well, though I'm quite positive that the nail will fall off. It was pretty ugly, red and swollen for a while, and although the swelling has gone down, the toenail is a dark blackish purple and she won't let me touch it (can you blame her?) Anyways, she's doing well, and keeping busy.

Frances had her second set of vaccines on Wednesday, and boy was that miserable. She dealt very well with the pokes, but as the day went on she got more and more miserable and feverish, the poor little thing. She recovered nicely by Thursday morning though.

Tonight Ian and I are going to a Medieval feast in Moose Jaw of all places. I'm really looking forward to it, this will be the first time that Ian and I have been out together without the girls since mid-July.

This week I baked:

More of Goody's wonderful oat bread,
2 loaves of old fashioned rye bread,
a large banana coffee cake,
2 dozen lemon honey cookies,
2 loaves of sourdough,
and I'm in the process of baking cinnamon buns.

Diet? pfft. The good news is that I get lots of exercise kneading the dough.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shoot Me

I am a terrible mother. At least, that's how I feel right now.

So, I was sitting at the computer in the big wooden chair when Mary came up to visit me. She was feeling peevish today, and she whimpered to be picked up. So, I moved the chair back a bit so I could do just that. As I moved the chair, I heard and felt a distinct crunchy sound. As soon as I heard it I just closed my eyes and uttered a soft prayer "Dear God, please don't let that have been what I think it was." I then looked at Mary, whose eyes were wide and filled with tears, her mouth wide open in a silent shriek of pain, and her lips blue from holding the silent shriek for so long without breathing. I quickly grabbed her and pulled her up into my lap, and the nail of her second toe was already turning black, and blood was leaking from beneath it. She started to scream in earnest, and I rushed her up to the bathroom to tend her wound, babbling apologies the whole way. She screamed for a good long time, and let me tell you, while I once believed things would be better when she could talk, it's not. There's nothing worse than your baby sobbing "Mummy, it hurts!" over and over again, knowing that you were the one that hurt her, and not being able to do anything about it. She seems to be recovering, though she won't put her toe on the ground which results in a hobbling pathetic sort of limp, which dashes my heart into even smaller pieces every time I see it. She will occasionally whimper softly "Mummy, I need cuddles...it hurts." She's in bed now, but she milked every ounce she could get out of my guilty conscience before snuggling up with Lightening McQueen and going to sleep.

Other than attempting to rip my daughters toe nails off, I had a decent weekend. Yesterday DeeDee was in town visiting her folks and we went over for a short visit which turned into a 6 hour visit complete with an excellent supper. Her Mum is a very neat woman, her house is jam packed full of niknacks and Mrs. DeeDee loved Mary and Frances so much that she made me promise to come back. It was nice to spend time with a friend (sweet jesus I miss having friends) and there is even photographic evidence of DeeDee holding an infant! Today I made jelly. Lots and lots of jelly. Mint, apple and cranberry merlot. My mincemeat is soaking in its own juices, and all I have to do is get my act together and make a tonne of salsa or chutney and Christmas gifts will be done.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Malaria

Oops. It's been a while again, hasn't it? I don't even have no internet access as an excuse this time.

It's been a busy week. Thanksgiving weekend was lovely. I cooked supper for my Dad and his wife on Saturday, and it went surprisingly well. I made turkey (of course) with stuffing, potatoes, broccoli, buns and a pie for desert. Then Sunday we had a repeat at Dad's place, without the home made buns and pie. On Monday I made the worlds grossest turkey soup which we ate for supper that night, and I threw away the next day. I put too much rice in the soup and it was more of a slimy turkey risotto glop instead. I've never liked turkey soup at the best of times, and it was just too much for me to take.

Wednesday Dad came out with a curtain rod for our living room, and now we have even more privacy! Yay! Curtains in our bedroom and the living room, and soon there will be curtains for the girls rooms. Mum is going around to all the East Indian fabric stores in Abbotsford to find beautiful, exotic fabrics to make curtains out of.

I've been putting bird seed out lately, and I am obsessed with the giant flocks of birds that hang around the house all day (so, as you might have guessed, are the cats). We have all sorts of neat birds, apparently we are on a migratory path and just about everyone stops by. We had a couple of blue jays, a whole pile of juncos, hundreds of sparrows, red poles, yellow breasted nuthatches, downey flickers, ring-necked doves...and more, but I don't know all their names. My Christmas list is getting longer and longer with the addition of all sorts of baking and cooking implements, and now bird books.

The other day we got word that my uncle who just went to Tanzinia to teach has come down with Malaria. He was taking his meds, but somehow managed to pick the disease up within a month or so of getting to Africa. We were quite worried about him, but it turns out that of the different types of malaria, he has the "best" one you can get. He's already out of the hospital and getting better. My dad took anti-malarial drugs when he was in Africa, and he said that he was almost willing to risk getting the disease rather than take the drugs. I guess the side effects are horrible and frightening. They actually think that the drug Mefloquine has much to do with the Canadian soldiers in Rwanda torturing a young boy to death and the subsequent dissolution of the Airborne.

Anyways, other than that, I've not been up to much. The girls and I are hanging out, I'm still baking like a crazy person. Last night I made honey-lemon cookies with frosting in the middle, and today I am in the process of baking a recipe I got from Goody's cooking blog for oatmeal bread. I tried out my Grandmothers cinnamon bun recipe, but it didn't work out too well, I'll have to try again.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Save Me From Myself (Updated!)

Please...

I have entered a zone of hyper-domesticity. It's alarming, seriously alarming. Since I got back from Edmonton I have baked 40 cookies, made a huge batch of clam chowder (the good tomatoey stuff, not the nasty white stuff) half of which is now in our increasingly packed freezer (Santa, I want a big deepfreeze for Christmas, okay?), baked a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, cooked supper last night, made up my husband's lunch for work, turned 6 lbs of apples into some rockin' spiced applesauce, and I am now in the process of baking bread. I've also somehow managed to invite my dad and his wife over for Thanksgiving supper which we will be having on Saturday. My plan is to make a turkey, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes (Ian's favourite) another pumpkin pie, and home made parker house rolls. Of course depending on how this experiment with bread goes today we may not be having fresh rolls after all. I've cleaned the upstairs of the house, done 6 loads of laundry, scrubbed the bathroom, and this afternoon my plan is to clean the outside windows and bake orange scones...and I'll do it too. This weekend I'm going to make up a giant batch of Mincemeat, it'll have a couple of months to soak in rum and get really yummy before Christmas. Oh, and I'm also stitching stockings for the girls and getting started on Mary's Halloween costume.

I've barely watched any TV at all, which is really a fabulous thing. I love having the TV downstairs, I get so much more done when it isn't there sucking the attention and life right out of me. Now, I get up in the morning, turn on the radio and listen to CBC-1 while I drink my tea. I hang out with the girls for a while, read Mary a few books, and then get started with my day. Mary watches a movie or two (her current favourites are a Winnie the Pooh movie, Little Bear, and Alladin. I try to get out for a walk in the afternoon, but I'm often too busy to bother. I do of course watch my shows in the evenings, although I'm not terribly impressed with them so far. House is kind of blah for some reason, Grey's Anatomy is getting annoying, ER is not great, but it's still the best of the bunch. I started watching Reaper on the advice of a fabulous woman in Edmonton and it's pretty great, I watched the series premier of The Tudors on CBC, and while the costuming is fabulous and Henry VIII is hawt, I found it a little slow and full of boobies (beautiful boobies, but still a little much). Private Practice was a complete bomb in my opinion and Dirty Sexy Money is moderately obnoxious. I've decided to avoid reality TV all together, including America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars, mostly because I'm trying to cut down my TV viewing to only two nights a week. The other nights I intend to spend with Ian after the girls go to sleep. Even if we can't get out, we can still talk, play cards, and do stuff together at home.

For those of you who bake bread, I have a question. Why? Holy crap is it hard work. I tried to mix it up using my electric mixer, but it just balled up and climbed up the mixer deelies. How can I avoid this problem from happening? I'm not strong enough to mix it by hand, and I don't really know how else I can do it. Also, kneading the dough sucks. I worked up a crazy sweat doing that part. I hope my bread turns out okay, but it's my first time ever attempting bread, so I won't be heartbroken if it's a flop.

My weekend in Edmonton was fabulous, even if I didn't get a chance to see everyone I wanted to see. We were busy constantly from the minute we got to town till the moment we left. I had an awfully hard time at a few points, things aren't working out as we had planned/hoped here in Saskatchewan for reasons that I'm not going to go into on a public blog (if you're curious, feel free to email me), so going back to the city that I love and all the people that I adore was tough to take. I spent a good part of the weekend very close to tears. Oh well, I keep telling myself that I love my house (which I do) and it's fantastic to be debt free (which it is), but I'm still desperately lonely and isolated. I miss my husband, we haven't been out together without the children since July. That's a long time, and it doesn't look to change any time soon. The loneliness could possibly be a reason for the frantic domesticity, don't you think?

Mary's preschool is still not running, which is really unfortunate. I've heard no word on the teacher, which is likely bad news. If it weren't West Nile then I suspect she would be back at work by now. I feel bad for Mary, I need to find her some friends here. She was so thrilled to see Jonah when we were in Edmonton, the both of them shrieked and ran around together the whole time we were there. The only time they were quiet was when they got into the water that Jonah's daddy had set aside for his fish tanks. When it was time to go, they hugged like crazy, and Mary kept following Jonah around giving him kisses. We had to drag her from his side and into the van.

Anyways, it's just about time to punch my dough, I guess I'd best wrap this up. Here's a picture of Mary and Ian enjoying some imaginary soup at my Dad's place to take you out.






Update

Hey! Here's a picture of my bread! Looks nice, doesn't it? I'll wait till supper to see if it tastes as good as it looks.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

They're out to get me

Wow, I just had a serious paranoid/conspiracy theory moment. I was listening to the CBC news and they are running a story about some research that "proves" that women who drink even a glass of any type of alcohol a day are at higher risk for breast cancer. For just a moment I thought that I might have been transported to a dystopian world a la Handmaids Tale. It just seems fishy to me, you know? How long till we hear some research saying that women who work out of the home have a higher risk of breast cancer? Or women who drive cars have a higher risk of cancer....It would be easy enough to take advantage of our pathological fear of breast cancer, wouldn't it?

And then I came to my senses. That'll never happen, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rude people

I'm getting awfully tired of rude people. Today I went to the big Fabricland in Regina to buy everything I need for Mary's halloween costume. I had to drag Mary and Frances with me, so I had no hands, as one was holding the end of Mary's leash, and the other was holding on to the car seat containing my giant, extremely heavy baby. I got no assistance from the women who worked there, one even turned away from me when I started to ask for help finding what I needed. I was horrified and close to tears when I finally dragged everyone out of there. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now, it's the only fabric store in the city and I'm not going back, and Walmart doesn't have any fake fur. I guess I'll have to buy a costume ready made for her...or maybe I can look at the fabric stores in Edmonton this weekend and pick up what I need there.

We inherited a little fishbowl from my step-brother, D, last week. He accidentally dumped his fish down the drain while cleaning out the bowl, and was so devastated that he couldn't even imagine getting a new fish. While we were in the city today I picked up a couple of 39 cent goldfish to put in there, and Mary has already fallen in love. She calls the fish Nemo, and Nemo's Daddy. They are orange and white goldfish, and one is bigger than the other, so I suppose they do look like Nemo and his dad. Hopefully I won't kill them too quickly, although we are going away this weekend, and I have my doubts they will survive. I'm going to ask the little girl across the way to pop by from time to time to give them a little food, and hopefully that will keep them alive.

I had tea with my neighbours, Teenie and Floyd yesterday. They are a very nice, very old couple who have lived in Milestone for decades. They met when Floyd was sent to Edmonton with the air force during WW2 for training, fell in love and have been together ever since. They have 4 kids, 9 grandkids and a multitude of great-grandchildren. I wonder how many couples will have been together for as long as those two have in fifty years. Marriages don't seem to last like that any more, and it kind of makes me sad. Anyways, Mary had a wonderful time playing with toys that have seen more than 13 children over the last 50 years, and left calling Teenie Grandma. We have an open invitation to pop by any time for tea.

We also met a few more of our neighbours, and everyone seems very nice. The lady across the way is on the town council and involved in the towns dinner theatre. Apparently the town is quite well known for their dinner theatre, and they are always searching for new blood. She asked us if we curled (no, but I'd like to learn) or were interested in Drama at all, and was thrilled to hear that we were. While I doubt I will read for a part, I doubt I'm good enough, I would love to help out back stage or something. Anything to get me out of the house and involved in the community is good to me.

I took Mary to her preschool on Monday, and no one showed up. I assumed that the teacher had called in sick, and no one let me know because it was our first day and we aren't registered yet. I was pretty damned disappointed though, and so was Mary. We tried again today, and once again no one showed. So, we walked home and I called the lady in charge of the whole thing, and asked what was up. I honestly thought that I had read something wrong, or misheard, and was showing up at the wrong time. Well, it turns out that the teacher is currently being tested for West Nile, and preschool is postponed indefinitely. yikes. Anyways, they have our phone number now, so when things start up again they'll give us a call. Good thing Mary has the fish to distract her, I hyped up going to school so much that it's all she talked about till we got them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I'm Starving

I'm famished right now, seriously. There are over a dozen big, beautiful, extremely tasty sugar cookies that I spent all day sunday baking up in my kitchen, but because they are worth 4 points (!) each, I can't eat them. Yes, I am counting points, I joined the cult called Weight Watchers. Last week I went to the doctor, mainly because my tailbone still hurts from my spill down the stairs back in April. The doctors advice was that I likely broke my tailbone, but there is nothing to be done, so I should get a cushion. I then mentioned the fact that I am fat, and she agreed. She said that there are drugs out there that she could prescribe, but they are very costly and don't really work. She weighed me, arranged for every type of blood test known to man, and told me to join Weight Watchers and come back to see her in two weeks. I really quite like her, and while the easy fix would be nice, if she had just written me a prescription and walked away, I don't know if I would have been happy. She seems genuinely concerned about me, and wants to help me loose the weight and be as healthy as possible.

After my first WW meeting yesterday, I hit WalMart before getting on the highway to come home. I needed to pick up some oil so Ian can muck around with the van, and I needed formula for the not-so-wee baby. As I was loading cases of formula into the cart, a real granola muncher wandered by with her baby, and came to a dead stop when she saw me. She proceeded to stand there as I grabbed the formula, shaking her head and clucking her tongue disapprovingly, all the while frowning angrily in my direction. At first I thought it was something else, after all, people can't seriously be that rude, right? But then, as I was walking past, she actually leaned forward to her baby, safely ensconced in it's incredibly expensive Eddie Bauer car seat, and stage whispered something about people feeding their babies poison, and only irresponsible mothers would consider not breast feeding. I was so stunned and angry, I was at a loss for words, and I just kept walking. I bumped into her in the craft aisle and she just sighed, looked into my cart again, and shook her head sadly. It took all my will power not to punch her in the nose. Which is why I am going to fail at this weight watchers thing, I've got no willpower left.

Anyways, while in the craft section at WalMart I picked up a pattern for a halloween costume. I bought a new sewing machine a few weeks, and I'm just itching to use it, so...we'll see how it goes. I'm not an experienced sewer, and this pattern seems a little tough, but I'm determined to try it out. Hopefully I won't end up having to take Mary out without a costume because I didn't get this one done. Here's a picture of the costume, I found a site where you can purchase the costumes for only $70 (no thanks).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Epic

My giant baby had a diaper blow-out of epic proportions yesterday. I'm not exaggerating when I say there was poo from her nipples to her ankles, and it was not pleasant to clean up. Mary's running commentary was one of the things that made it slightly more tolerable..."Oh yuck! Baby poopy! Lots of poop! Poop on baby's jammies, baby's yellow jammies. Mummy wiping poop now. Wiping baby's belly. Frances poopy Mummy!" She talked about the poo for hours, and would get right in my face till I responded. There was a time I was concerned that she wasn't talking enough, and while she still isn't as advanced speech wise as some peoples children (V and Goody come to mind) I have no concerns about that any more.

This morning at about 3:30 Mary woke up and came running sobbing into our bedroom. I pulled her up into bed beside me and she immediately snuggled up saying "I want Mummy's bed now." I was more than happy to let her snuggle between Ian and I, in spite of the pointy elbows, knees, fingers and feet that fidgit and jab while she cuddles. I drew the line at the grinding of teeth though. There are many things on the "things that annoy Jennifer" list, and grinding teeth is very close to the top.

I baked sugar cookies this morning and they turned out pretty good. I burned the first batch (still getting used to the fancy new oven) but subsequent batches turned out much better. My next project is going to be to take on Goody's graham cracker recipe. Store bought graham wafers are the only cookies Mary gets on a regular basis, and wouldn't it be great to make my own instead of buying them in boxes?

Oh, by the way Lady Myke, I would be happy to get any advice in regards to potty training you might have. In fact, I'll take anyones advice on the matter. I may not follow it, but I'll be happy to hear it. To be honest, I think the major obstacle in the whole thing is me, I just don't feel like I have the time to sit Mary on the potty every hour till she catches on when I have Frances demanding so much of my time and energy.

Anyways, here are a couple of pictures of Mary's room. It's all done now, the new furniture in place, the pictures on the wall. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The pictures on her walls that you can see by the bed and dresser were actually my mothers, and they hung on the walls of her nursery when she was a baby almost 50 years ago. :)



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back online

Hello everyone (if there is anyone still out there, of course),

It was a long and painful time without internet access, but this morning the people from Sasktel managed to take the time out of their busy schedules to push the button that they needed to push to enable us to get back on the web. I still cannot fathom why it took them a month to find the time to push that button, but oh well.

We are settling in well here in Milestone. It's a little harder for me, I think, as I am at home every day with the girls and I'm getting pretty lonely. Hopefully being online again will help combat that feeling of absolute isolation that comes with living in a small town and not knowing anyone at all.

Small town living is really quite nice, though it's not as easy to meet people as one might think. The people my age who live here have known each other all their lives, and it's hard to break in to a community like that. Last night I went to a pre-school meeting and met several other mothers of young children. While they were all really nice, I still felt a little lost and lonely, and left without really having made any friends. I think that I am going to try Mary in the preschool next week and see how she does though, so I'm glad I went to the meeting. Anyways, the town is nice, people are friendly enough, and I love being able to walk from one end of the town to the other without a whole lot of effort. Oh, and yesterday, someone left two pumpkins just sitting on my front step.

Frances and Mary are doing well enough. Frances is much more civil these days, and she seems to spend more time smiling than screaming now, thank God. Mary's skin is a mess once again, and we took her to a natropath and a dermatologist in the last month. The natropath gave us a bunch of suppliments (fish oils, magnesium) as well as a recipe for home made moisturizer (grape seed oil, vitamin E and oregano oil), which I have been using religiously. The dermatologist doesn't think that it is allergies, and prescribed a cream that is unfortunately not covered by the provincial drug plan because it is relatively new. It's going to cost us $85 every 2 weeks, but we are applying for Exception Drug Status, so hopefully the province will refund some of that. I gave her the first treatment of it today and already her skin feels softer. Mary is still resisting potty training, sigh, but I have hope. Today she ripped off her diaper after pooping copiously in it, sat on the potty (doing nothing, but commenting to me when I wandered by and spotted her sitting there pantless "I made water in it!") and then asked me to get her a new diaper. It was a bit of a panicky search through the house for the poopy diaper, but she had already put it in the garbage. Sometimes she's such a good girl...

We are all making the trek up to Edmonton next weekend, and I couldn't be more excited. We are staying at the Howard Johnson hotel, which has a swimming pool, and we are going to see people! I hope. Anyways, it's going to be so fun, I can't wait. My only concern is that I'm going to bawl like a baby when it's time to leave. I miss Edmonton so much, not just the people, although of course that's a big part, but the city itself. I can't watch the Edmonton TV stations (we get them all with sattelite, but funnily enough we only get one Regina station) without getting weepy. I sometimes wonder if we didn't make a huge mistake moving away...but then I remember we are debt free and I feel a bit better.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Move

I know, I'm a lollyblogger. It's not going to get any better this week, but maybe, just maybe next week I will sit down and post something meaningful with lots of words. We are moving tomorrow. Finally, we will be in the house.

Look! Pictures!


Here is our bedroom after we painted the walls. It used to have pink and white stripes, and now it's a beautiful soft green colour.



Here is Mary's room, almost finished. I must say that whoever came up with the idea to paint trim should be put in jail for a long long time. It turned out okay, I'm not a professional painter, but it's nice.



Frances's room after being painted. It used to have dark blue and white stripes, with a burgandy border and words like "touchdown," written around the top. Ick. Now it's a beautiful brown, but it's not quite finished. Ian thinks it's too sophisticated for a little girl, but I love it, and I'm going to add some fun bright colours. One wall is going to feature the wonderful quilt that Goody made for Frances.



Frances chilling on the new couch.



The faux fireplace in the basement. It seems that I am cursed to live in houses with the most god awful ugly fireplaces. The things the people we bought the house from did to that basement area is criminal, including painting over beautiful dark wood beams across the ceiling.



Here is the "playroom." It is an unfinished area of the basement that they panted the cement walls in. It needs a ceiling and something on the floor, but I think it'll be a good spot to keep all the toys.



Here is our little maritimer. I was given this Sou'wester at our wedding reception in Dartmouth. Mary found it today and spent a good part of the afternoon wearing it.



Mary and Frances. It never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful, loving sister Mary is. Frances absolutely adores her, and Mary loves to take care of the baby. Frances is wearing a diaper shirt embroidered by Goody, it says "I'm the baby," just so I don't forget. :)



Frances flaked out on the couch, and Mary gave her the flower.



Rock star Mary on our new deck. Unfortunately those glasses broke later in the day.